Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wickre Travelogue (August 23rd)

Up very early for our 6:30 a.m. pick up for trip to Normandy and WW II sites. The touring company had a van that carried 8 passengers. There was a couple from Seattle, couple from Boston and a man from Maryland also in van. Francis the driver and guide - very nice. He gave us a historical background to D-Day very much from the French perspective.Drove about 1 hour 45 min. and stopped for coffee, rolls, restroom. Another 1 1/2 hour to the Normandy coast. Our first stop was Ponte du Hoc where American rangers on D-Day scaled the bluffs against strong German opposition. then we went to Bloody Omaha Beach. I was able to get a small jar of sand. We then drove to the American Cemetery on the bluff over looking Omaha. We paid our respects to those that gave so much! We then drove through lots of villages, stopped for lunch at village by the sea - went to WWII museum and then back on road to Paris - about a 2 hour drive - driver drives very fast. Got back to hotel about 6:30 p.m. Went out to dinner and had a very nice dinner our last night in Paris. Forgot to mention running into torrential downpours on our drive back to Paris. This was our last full day in France and it was special to go to Normandy. It was also a chance to see some of the French countryside. For the most part the French were nice to these Americans who speak very little French. There were some that had a chip on their shoulder but they were a minority.